Noise really does change the way you behave …

I have always been somewhat sensitive to sound, to light, to what I deem as “excessive” in either.  Sound is probably the most intrusive.

I also struggle with space and too many people being too close to me, or even being touched too much — I really struggled when my children were small and having them “ON ME” all the time as babies do.  That hot sticky milkiness was as lovely as it was a trigger to drive me to insanity in a green clown side-car.

It would make me feel very anxious and stressed, and I would feel the panic that starts to grip me when ever any of my senses are overloaded.

The problem with all of these “over sensory stimulation” issues is that if you do not realise what they are, and you do not understand why you react in a particularly (and in some cases) violent manner.

You start to convince yourself you are the village freak!

Because what could be wrong with your children touching you, talking to you really loud, in your face, and fighting with each other for who will clamber onto your lap?

It’s normal.  It is natural.

What is not normal, natural and rational is you edging with your back towards a couch or a wall, so that you are defending your back and only have to deal with the “attack” from the front.

This weekend we were away, and I really enjoyed it.  The only thing that makes me very stressed is that when you are travelling and away from home you generally are in situations where everyone is physically together.  Together in the car.  Together in what is usually much smaller accommodation to what you are used to.

Together in that you are walking around the Cango Wildlife Ranch and your children keep grabbing your hands, and hugging your legs, and everytime you sit down it is as if two of them turn into leeches and try to suck the life out of your head, because that is where they appear to be trying to sit.

And talking and talking.  In loud high pitched voices.

Noise and clingy-ness is a natural and normal part of having children.  I  try to adjust and breath through it.

I came across the term “misophonia” about two years ago.

I thought I had stumbled on to the holy grail when I found a support forum at

I sat and read people who understood what I was going through.  Who were going through the same things – and they were talking to each other about it.  Rather than sitting in their room weeping because they could not bear to be shamed by “acting funny when there is a noise you do not like.”

I was fortunate to have a psychiatrist and a psychologist and a CBT guy I could chat to – so I was not feeling as lonely, misunderstood and desperate as many people whose only support mechanism is this forum.

The forum however made me realise that there are people like me, and people who suffer more.

I recall reading a post from a guy who had to move to a small town, as he could not deal with the surround sound you get in a city.  He also had to move to a place where he could walk to work, as he found the noise of the bus too noisy, and it would put him into a state of panic.

I saw this post on the forum recently, and I wanted to share it with you:

Once again I would like to affirm uncategorically, this is indeed a real condition, with real physiological changes in the bodily functioning, even if we cannot ‘prove’ it yet.

This is not some weird psychological condition that you created for whatever reason for yourselves.

The over riding pattern of onset, identical histories and reactions, having evaluated 100s of patients and corresponded with 1000s by phone or email or Skype… is all to me one long running documentary that supports the fact
the Selective Sound Sensitivity/Miso is indeed a real condition, a genuine alteration or aberration in the way the central nervous system is functioning.

Many people struggle with this, every day I am asked, isn’t this just a psychological issue, like a phobia?

No, it is not.

Every day I am asked, people think I could just stop it, but I can’t. If I try harder, can I stop?

No. No more than you can try to stop the red blood cells from flowing into your arteries and veins. No, you cannot stop it by thinking your way out of it. No, you cannot stop it by simply ‘stopping’ it.

You can control your reactions, you can keep a public face, you can manage your environment for your best outcomes and highest comfort.

I really need to be clear here, in my own words, carefully chosen as I do not want to paint of picture of hopelessness, I want to affirm the fact that 4S/mis is a true condition that has biochemical and genetic components.

How we can change that is all up for grabs right now, some approaches are proving more effective than others.

And I do not mean to imply that proper psychological counseling does not help those who suffer, it surely does!

But that in itself, does not ‘cure’ 4S/miso, it can certainly alter how we manage our responses.

I need to say this often, I get so many calls or emails from people, parents, desperate for help or information and many have been told they have an emotional/mental problem. Every day I see kids who have been diagnosed with all kinds of things who primarily show signs of 4S/miso more than any other symptom.

Please, believe me, I have proof of the pudding with 15 years of contacts and direct clinical experience, this is real, this is physical, this is going to be imaged one of these days.

Dr. Marsha Johnson, Audiologist

I had spoken to my audiologist, my ear specialist, my CBT guy and my psyciatrist and none of them had ever heard of Misophonia.

The point I am trying to make with this is not that it DOES NOT EXIST, but the fact that it does, and it is often so poorly recognised that the medical fraternity does not diagnose it and thus treat it – or supply advise and expertise on how you can deal with it.

I cannot tell you how I felt a sense of “see I was right” when I had searched and searched and spoken to people about my aversion to sound, and how it sets me off.  How it changes the way I feel.  And what a revelation it was to know that it is real, and there are thousands (maybe millions) of people who struggle with the same.

How noise or particular sounds puts me into an advanced state of panic and anxiety.

Most people associate it as a symptom of anxiety and stress disorder, but maybe it isn’t.  Maybe it is a “thing” that sets off the anxiety and stress, and not symptom of it.

Misophonia Symptoms:  People who have misophonia are most commonly annoyed, or even enraged, by such ordinary sounds as other people clipping their nails, brushing teeth, eating, breathing, sniffing, talking, sneezing, yawning, walking, chewing gum, laughing, snoring, typing on a keyboard, whistling or coughing; certain consonants; or repetitive sounds. Some are also affected by visual stimuli, such as repetitive foot or body movements, fidgeting or any movement they might observe out of the corner of their eyes. Intense anxiety and avoidant behavior may develop, which can lead to decreased socialization. Some people may feel the compulsion to mimic what they hear or see.

Misophonia it is a real condition people.

stop popping that gum.  stop slurping that soup.  for the love of god stop chewing so damn loud.  leaves room.  slams door.  lies on bed in room where it is quiet until the kids find me.

{another good resource –}


Leave a comment


  1. Sarah lou

     /  February 3, 2017

    I knew I wasn’t the only one!!! How can something so small derive such a reaction? Pen clicking is my absolute worst……the reaction is instant…..I have to find the source and either give the clicker a non click pen or just ask them to stop. If they carry on because its ‘amusing’……they lose the pen : )
    Crisps/chips….seriously….I could punch you?!@!
    Sniffing….FFS! Get a tissue or be quiet.
    Squeezing of cans/plastic bottles? Why are you doing that?
    Tapping of any sort, unless on a keyboard.
    A radio channel that isn’t quite tuned in.
    Slurping drinks and scraping your teeth on cutlery!!! OH MY GOD. Why? Stop it, please, its making me hate you.
    If I am tired….my irritation increases x10.
    And if you say ‘num num num’ whilst eating, I will hit you…..really hard… the face!!

    And breathe………

  2. Ballerina Rox

     /  June 25, 2013

    Another blogging Misophoniac here! Found your blog while ‘extreme Googling’! I look forward to following and reading 🙂

    • nini

       /  June 25, 2013

      Green apples are the worst. Maybe thicker skin? Red are better. And if they absolutely MUST… then yellow apples are the “softest”.
      There was a lady in the Spur tonight, calling her baby “nunu” all the time. On that specific frequency where that is the ONLY thing you hear. You don’t hear the “eat your smiley faces” or “apple of berry juice?”… all you hear is NUNUNUNUUNUNU. Double whammy. Frequency + “nunu” = move table OR throw with pink sauce. I moved.

  3. Helen Jamieson

     /  June 21, 2013

    Oh. Erk. I thought everyone had this… especially the physical contact bit. I often have freak outs when in crowds or even when my kids are on top of me and I have to disengage. I have caught myself a few times shouting at my 3 year old to not touch me all the time. Sheet. Parenting fail…

    How was Cango Caves? We (or my husband technically due to similar claustrophobia freak outs as mentioned above) is taking my 3 year old in a couple of weeks. How did your kids cope?

    • reluctantmom

       /  June 23, 2013

      We did the general tour which is actually fine — the spaces you move in are not uncomfortable or small. It would be a very good idea if you have a child to give them a torch to take with or one of those headlamps.

  4. nini

     /  June 21, 2013

    Yes! Yes! I have this! I have Misophonia! Severely. Especially if there’s a rhythm to sound. Like when someone washes something in the basin. Like this *pht pht pht pht* pause *pht pht pht pht* pause *pht pht pht pht*. ONE two three four. ONE two three four. I hear it a mile away. Or this girl in the office who chews her apple with a *smac* sound that you don’t hear anywhere else in the world. And the *clink-clink-clink* of cutlery in restaurants. The certain frequency of a whining child. And so on and so forth. It gets so “loud” that I just wanna grab a stapler and throw it against their foreheads. But I rather just walk away or something. I once broke up with a boyfriend because I hated how he sounds when he eats. And I actually liked him… Shame man. Thanks for this post. I thought I was nuts.

    • reluctantmom

       /  June 21, 2013

      My husband chews green crisp apples — I have started to picture killing him with the apple, or running away from home. Which ever will be quieter!

  5. You probably don’t read my blog, but I definitely read yours everyday. I got an award that I wanted to pass on to you –

  6. El

     /  June 19, 2013

    I really feel for you. I am a mother of a sensory sensitive child and are sensory sensitive myself. Luckily we have found a SUPER DUPER occupational therapist who specialises in this and who have been a big help in helping my little boy in coping with his sensory overloading system. We know now what to do when he gets overloaded. You cannot see just anybody regarding this, you really need a specialist. I can highly recommend “Sensory Intelligence: Why it Matters More Than Both IQ and EQ: Why it is More Important Than Both IQ and EQ” by Annemarie Lombard.

  7. I hear you! (No pun intended.) My son has sensory processing disorder and his sense of hearing is affected the most. The biggest hurdle we’ve had to overcome is getting people to understand that this is a real thing that will not be helped by ‘smacking some sense into him so that he behaves’. We did not ‘make up’ this condition to excuse his (sometimes irrational-looking) behaviour. We have finally found a school that recognises the debilitating impact of SPD on his learning (after 3 years of misery). The change in him is unbelievable. He is thriving and succeeding at school. Her is learning how to cope with his disorder. Good luck with managing your condition and thank you for writing and educating us about misophonia.

  8. Tania

     /  June 19, 2013

    Seems that I may suffer the same Misophonia. Good to finally know that I’m not just being petty. Thanks for this post.


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